Centerwell Senior Care

Lake Charles Natives Help Bring Personalized Primary Care to Local Seniors

Seniors playing bingo

Caring for family and community is what inspired Jennifer Cagle and Pamela Bellow, Lake Charles natives, to return to their hometown to serve local seniors as part of a healthcare team offering a very personalized, community-minded approach to care.

CenterWell Senior Primary Care Lake Charles, located at 4050 Ryan Street, began seeing patients in March and celebrated its official grand opening on April 26.

“When I read about CenterWell’s commitment to providing personalized, high-quality primary care managing both chronic and acute-care conditions, I was absolutely hooked,” said Cagle, center administrator for CenterWell Lake Charles. “I love that we also provide well-being services at the centers and in our community.”

Cagle, who grew up in Lake Charles, moved away in 1992, and returned in 2009 to serve the family and community she loves, said her experience fits perfectly with CenterWell’s initiatives.

“My experience in healthcare leadership, organizational operations, and implementation and oversight of compliance and quality initiatives are a perfect fit for our strong commitment to quality service and patient outcomes,” she said.

CenterWell Senior Primary Care is one of the fastest-growing senior-focused, value-based care providers in the country. Together with its sister brand Conviva Care Center, it delivers care to seniors in 249 centers across 11 states, with plans to open 30-50 new centers per year through 2025.

The Lake Charles center is staffed with board-certified physician Dr. Danielle McLurkin, along with Bellow, who is a nurse practitioner. Other professionals on site include medical assistants and a referral specialist. Patients will also have access to a clinical pharmacist, behavioral health specialist and social worker. All practitioners have been specially trained to treat the senior population. In addition to its healthcare offerings, CenterWell facilities include activity centers, which are open to local seniors in the community, not just CenterWell patients.

Previously, Bellow was practicing at a CenterWell center in Nevada, but knew it was perfect timing to return to her hometown when the Lake Charles center opened this year.

“I’ve always known I would come back home to retire,” said Bellow. “But knew that if the opportunity were to arise where I could come back sooner to work, I would want to try to do that.”

CenterWell Lake Charles’ opening allowed Bellow to return home to care for her mother, continue her 25-year nurse practitioner career, and spend time with her siblings, sons and grandchildren.

“I want to be here to help with my mom, and I want to be near my sons and grandchildren,” Bellow said. “I wasn’t satisfied being a FaceTime grandma.”

Since her previous physician recently retired, Bellow’s mother will become a patient under Dr. McLurkin, truly driving home the point that CenterWell medical practices and activity centers feel like a place for family.

Indeed, the grand opening celebration was a family affair. Dr. McLurkin’s husband, Jobe “JJ” Guillory, who is also a Lake Charles native, served visitors and guests treats from his Creole cuisine food truck, JJ’s Jammin’ Food. Locals know JJ’s food and commitment to community run deep, serving food to those in need after hurricanes in 2005 and 2020.

And according to Kyle Magee, M.D., CenterWell’s Chief Medical Officer for Louisiana and Mississippi, CenterWell is a perfect place to feel right at home. “People will just come by and sit and drink coffee, and we might say, ‘Hey, Ms. Jones, are you here today for an appointment?’ And she’ll say she just came to visit. We actually become almost family here.”

CenterWell is known for its focus on whole-person health, Magee said.

“We feel that to get to know these patients, to interact with them, and achieve a great outcome from a healthcare perspective, you have to approach it from their physical health, emotional health and social health,” Magee said. “Everybody doesn’t have the means to have a hot meal, and you really can’t expect them to buy medication if they can’t afford food, so it’s one or the other. Many of our seniors are faced with decisions like this daily. We try to wrap services around them, so patients don’t have to be put in situations where they must choose. Our care team approach works to alleviate those barriers for folks.”

Humana’s Primary Care Organization, which operates both the CenterWell Senior Primary Care and Conviva Care Center brands, serves 266,000 members enrolled in many different Medicare Advantage health plans, as well as some patients who have Original Medicare.

Visit CenterWell Senior Primary Care to learn more about our approach to care and to find a center location near you.